Citibank PayAll is a new way for consumers to earn credit card reward points on payments to Australian bank accounts. It’s designed for instances where the payee might not accept card payments, such as paying rent into a nominated account.
You’re essentially using this opportunity to ‘buy points’ on bank transfers. But naturally, fees and limitations apply. Is Citi PayAll worth it? We find out.
UPDATE: Citibank is reducing the PayAll fee to 0% for payments set up between 1 April 2021 to 31 October 2021. This opens up opportunities to try the service and make payments to bank accounts fee-free while accumulating rewards points and taking advantage of interest-free days!
This could be a great way to earn points on ATO payments and other government spend, for example.
However, Point Hacks does not encourage anyone to make non-business related transactions (e.g. paying yourself or a family member for the sole purpose of earning points), as this breaches Citibank T&Cs. You may end up losing your card and/or forfeiting your points.
We may cancel or suspend your right to participate in the Rewards Program including the ability to earn and redeem Points if your Account is in default or we reasonably believe that the Points were not properly earned (including that a transaction processed as a Citi PayAll Payment was not to pay the payee for goods or services).– Citibank Rewards card T&Cs
What is Citi PayAll?
Citi PayAll is a new way to pay and earn points with your Citibank credit card. Through the scheme, you can use your card to pay for transactions you’d normally make to an Australian bank account.
Examples of other expenses that could benefit from this are taxes, education fees, property management fees, childcare, miscellaneous bills and more.
What Citibank cards are eligible for PayAll?
As of July 2020, these Citibank Australia credit cards are eligible for PayAll:
- Citi Rewards card
- Citi Clear card
- Emirates Citi World Mastercard
- Citi Premier card
- Citi Premier Qantas card
- Citi Simplicity card
- Citi Prestige card
How many points can I earn with Citi PayAll?
You will get 1 point per $1 AUD spent on cards enrolled in the Citibank Rewards Program (earning Citi Rewards Points). Those points transfer out at a 3:1 ratio to programs such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and flybuys.
You will directly earn 0.5 points per $1 AUD spent to the relevant frequent flyer program on other cards enrolled in Citibank Qantas Rewards or Emirates Skywards Rewards.
How do I use Citi PayAll?
To use Citi PayAll, you will need to hold an eligible credit card and have the account be in good standing, not blocked or suspended for any reason.
From the Citi Mobile App:
- Tap on ‘Payments & Transfers’, then ‘Citi PayAll’.
- Follow the instructions to set up the PayAll payment.
- Schedule the payment, choose if it’s regular or one-off, then confirm.
When PayAll transactions are processed, the appropriate charges and fees will show up on your credit card statements as usual.
What are the fees with Citi PayAll?
Note: Fees are waived (0%) from 1 April 2021 to 31 October 2021. The information below is being kept for reference.
Citibank charges a flat 2% fee on PayAll transactions. This applies per transaction, so scheduled payments and one-off payments alike will incur the 2% fee on each occurrence.
Let’s say your rent payments are $1,200 a month and you switch from fee-free bank transfers to Citi PayAll. Over the course of 12 months, your cost to earn extra reward points is $288 in PayAll fees.
You should aim to pay off your credit card statements in full each month. Any PayAll balances that carry over will also incur interest at the retail rate in your contract. This is in addition to other retail purchases and cash advances you may have not paid off yet.
What are the restrictions with Citi PayAll?
There are a few restrictions to take note of when using the Citi PayAll service.
- All transactions must be set up at least seven business days before you want the payment to be made.
- You can’t initiate a credit card chargeback on PayAll transactions.
- PayAll shouldn’t be used to pay off mortgages or other debts, loans, gambling, or for the purchase of other financial products such as shares or cryptocurrency. However, it is not expressly forbidden.
- There is a maximum of 10 Citi PayAll transactions a month.
- A maximum of $35,000 AUD can be transferred per month.
- Up to five Citi PayAll transactions are permitted to one beneficiary in one month.
Summing Up: our take on Citi PayAll
You’ll be wondering if Citi PayAll is worth it. When the payment fee is waived (currently 1 April-31 October 2021), then the ability to earn free points on bank transfers, even the ATO, is great.
But in most other cases, when the standard 2% fee applies, Citi PayAll’s cost will outweigh the value of the points you receive. For example, imagine you hold a Citi Premier Qantas card. We value Qantas Points at roughly 1.9 cents each right now.
If you make $16,000 worth of PayAll transactions in a year, you’ll earn 8,000 more Qantas Points, but incur a fee of $320. We would tentatively value those points at $152, so you’re not getting a great deal here.
Of course, there can be circumstances where it works out. You might be just 8,000 points short of a really big reward trip, or Citibank has a promotion that lowers the fee for PayAll transactions. You might want to take advantage of the interest-free days for an otherwise big bank transfer.
Just be sure to work out what fee you will be paying, and whether the points you receive will be worth it. Remember, if a bill can be paid directly by credit card, then there shouldn’t be any reason to use Citi PayAll.
But still, kudos to Citibank for introducing an interesting payment facility for personal customers that is usually reserved for businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases, the minimum payment due on a Citibank credit card is the greater of $30 or 2% of your outstanding balance. For more details, visit the Citibank credit cards key facts sheet.
Citi PayAll purchases and fees are debited to your credit card. If you pay off your full balance each month, no interest will be accrued. If you carry a balance over, the usual interest on purchases will apply to PayAll transactions.
Citibank notes that ‘PayAll fees may be subject to promotional offers from time to time.’ From 1 April to 31 October 2021, the PayAll transaction fee is waived.